Next 13 or So Favorite Flicks of 2013

But Dick Hollywood, last week, you just gave us 13 favorite Flicks from 2013. Why are you giving us 13 or so more Favorite Flicks to chew on? WHY THE FUCK NOT! I see a hell of a lot of movies every year and I want to share some of the Flicks that I feel should have a look-see. So with out further ado, here are 13 or so more of my Favorite Flicks from 2013.

So Says Dick Hollywood!

The Angels’ Share/Drinking Buddies

The Angel’s Share

-noun Informal.
the amount of alcohol which evaporates from the casks during maturation.

While I was on a distillery tour in Scotland, oh so many moons ago, you could smell and taste the Angel’s Share in the air, and being a whiskey lover, the taste on your tongue and smell was divine. Ken Loach’s Flick, “The Angels Share”, is a breath of fresh air and super fun film. Set in Glasglow, Scotland, we find a band of merry misfits whom all share one thing in common. They all have to perform Community Service for various crimes and while doing that, Harry their appointed overseer, takes them on a Whiskey Distillery tour, where four of them discover a taste and nose for fine and splendid whiskey. Just give me a wee Dram now, why don’t cha!

 

Drinking Buddies

Spoken like Homer Simpson, “Beer, I love beer…”

Drinking Buddies is a great companion piece to “The Angels Share”, which makes for a nice Double Feature. As the process of Whisky tasting and production is used as a premise in “The Angels Share”, “Drinking Buddies” uses the backdrop of a Brewery and fine libation of Craft Beers. An Improvisational Comedy/Drama that works well with this talented cast of Actors, ss two couples, try to figure out their next best moves for their relationships in the game, we call life. So of course all of that yummy, yummy beer made me downright thirsty.

Before Midnight

Big fan of this series of films and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Jesse and Celine at this later point in their lives. It is a great “finish” to one of most realistic love stories told in three parts over the years. Nuff Said! Now go forth and watch all three Flicks in the series. So Says Dick Hollywood.

Blancanieves

A Spanish, Black and White, Silent Film that re-imagines the story of Snow White with a Merry Band of Bull Fighting Dwarves. Beautiful looking, great music and a tad bit dark. Do I really need to say anymore?

 

Blue Jasmine

Great ensemble cast yet once again from Woody Allen. This time the story leans more to the dramatic side, with Cate Blanchett giving a stunning performance with her take on Blanche DoBois from “A Streetcar Named Desire”, and is one of the main reasons to see this Flick.

Crystal Fairy/Magic Magic

Woo Hoo! Another Double Feature on this list.

Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus

Two Flicks from Writer/Director Sebastián Silva, both starring Michael Cera, both came out in 2013, and pair of them was shot back to back over a 3 month period. While waiting for financing to come through for “Magic Magic”, Sebastián Silva decides to shoot a film with Cera, his three brothers and Gaby Hoffman in the title role of Crystal Fairy. An improvised road trip/drug movie with a fearless turn by Ms. Hoffmann. Cera, playing against type, is uncomfortably annoying and mean. A cool little Indie Gem.

Magic Magic

Magic Magic is a psychological Horror flick about a woman’s psychological breakdown when she goes on a vacation with an old friend of the family and her friends.

Gravity

Yes, I Dick Hollywood. Do solemnly swear that I watched Gravity as it was meant to be seen, in IMAX 3-D. No,really I did. I kid you not. So I must say that this Flick is quite a Cinematic Ride, and I believe that it is all that it was meant to be. It’s not a deep and philosophical Sci-Fi, but it is a pretty impressive experience, and even though I still find 3-D super gimmicky and looks like a View-master Reel, I thought the gimmick worked well with this fun Amusement Park Ride of a Movie.

The Hunt

Two words: Mads Mikkelsen. What a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious performance he has graced us. The story of a teacher in a small community who is accused of inappropriately touching the young daughter of his Best Friend. The small community ostracizes him, guilty in their eyes, before he has a chance to prove his innocence. “The Hunt” is such a powerfully and melancholic film.

Much Ado About Nothing

Holy shit! Another Black and White film. When combing my two lists, this now makes four. See I do have some mad math skills. However besides my mad math skills, Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare’s Comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing” is a hoot! Shot in twelve days at Joss Whedon’s home, utilizing a cast picked and plucked from his past TV shows, the Bard’s words never sounded so much fun. Check it out I say!

Mud

Really nice Coming-of-Age story, with another terrific performance from Matthew McConaughey. Two teen boys, decide to help out a fugitive on the lam, get back together with the love of his life, while one of the boys discovers love, longing and heartache of his own, as he desperately tries to reconcile Mud with ex-girlfriend Juniper.

Simon Killer

Creating discomfort and making viewers feel uncomfortable watching a film is not an easy task, but Simon Killer sure makes it seem easy. Forlorn American abroad in Paris meets pretty prostitute and falls in love? Shots reminiscent of Bela Tarr and Gus Van Sant emulating Bela Tarr, framing only people’s torsos, messing with sound and shit, makes ol’Dick Hollywood discombobulated. In a good way though, a very good way.

Stories We Tell

Another fine film from Sarah Polley. This time she creates an unforgettable Documentary about herself, her Family, and a story that was told and joked about while she was growing up. Truth, speculation and recollection all collide as her Family and friends of the family tell stories about her deceased Mother and living Father and their relationship.

We Are What We

First I put a god damned 3-D Flick on the list and now an English speaking remake of the Mexican Horror Flick, “”Somos Lo Que Yay”. What the hell is wrong with me? Well, I liked Jim Mickle’s last flick, “Stakeland”, so much so, that I was interested in his take of the so so original movie. Incorporating fresh ideas, to create an altogether more interesting and much better film then its predecessor. A Creepy Atmospheric Gothic Black Comedy would be a quick way of describing it. Plus it stars Bill Sage, who is one of my Favs from many a Hal Hartley Flick.

 

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Dick’s Top 13 Favorite Flicks of 2013

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Dick Hollywood’s Top 13 Flicks of 2013

Too many movies and not enough time. Miss ‘em in the Theater and have to wait sometimes until Mid-January or later the following year to see them. So this list reflects only the Films I was able to see up until the time it posts. As per usual, all of the Flicks are in alphabetical order, but there are two Films that really stood out for me this year and I will let you which ones in their write ups. So kick back and watch the Trailers and seek ‘em out if you feel inclined to do so, but don’t you come back hollering and calling me bad names just because you did not care for them.

A Hijacking (Kapringen)

A fictionalized Somali Pirate story coming out before Captain Phillips, Danish Writer/Director Tobias Lindholm presents us with a tense and understated film that creates a remarkable feeling of discomfort. The film shows us what it might feel like to be taken hostage, along with showing us the negotiating that takes place between the Shipping Company and translator working for the pirates. Extremely worth a look.

The Act of Killing

Tied with other Favorite Flick of the Year, this unconventional Documentary is a must see for anybody interested in World History and Documentary Film in general. Interviews with Leaders of Indonesian Death Squads from 1965 to 1966 are asked to act out re-enactments of some of their killings and film it like a movie.  The killers themselves come up with the look, feel and what type of scene to shoot. Their take on Film Noir to Musicals make for one creepy, sad, frightening, sickening, and at times absurdly funny Documentary.

Frances Ha

Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumback have written a fun little slice of life Flick, about coming to terms with becoming and acting like an adult. Frances awkwardly tries to find her footing and place in life and in NYC. This great little Black and White gem of a film is Noah’s best since, “A Squid and the Whale”.  Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)

Paolo Sorrentino’s love for Rome, art, stories and Fellini, shines through his cynical protagonist, Journalist Jep Gambardella. Late night parties, walks through ancient buildings with beautiful art owned by Princesses, and taking a date to a funeral, are some of the encounters we share with Jep. It’s a beautiful fun film with sights and sounds to behold.

Her

This really is a touching poignent love story between a Man and his Computer Operating System. It’s a quirky romantic comedy/drama( I refuse to use the word Dramedy), that made me laugh, smile and shed some tears. Yes Dick Hollywood gets all weepy at movies… SO WHAT?!?!

The Kings of Summer

A nice little coming of age story, where three teen friends decide to runaway and build their own house in the middle of a forest to live in. With a stand out performance by Moises Arias, playing the odd and eccentric Biaggio. Just an all around fun film.

Nebraska

Second Black and White Flick on this list, which helps to show off and accentuate some amazing Nebraskan landscapes. Bruce Dern brings to life an ever so subtle performance of a man who is winding down at the end of his life and wants to travel to Omaha to pick up his 1 million Dollars he believes he won from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes he received in the mail. His younger son opts to take him there, so that he may get to know his Father a little better. A funny and melancholic road trip with a great supporting cast of characters. Especially June Squibb who plays the Mom.

Sightseers

Ben Wheatly’s darkly comic Killers in Love Flick, is a fun road trip, but certainly not for the squeamish. Chris and Tina, newly dating, decide to go on Holiday in Chris’ Abbey Oxford Caravan. and along the way Tina learns that Chris has a penchant for murder as  more mirth, merriment and mayhem ensue. Funny and Bloody Good! (See what I did there with the word Bloody? Pretty Punny Huh?)

Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine, one of the most divisive Writer/Directors working today, has created one of his most polished Flicks to date, but clearly just as divisive as ever. One of the prettiest nightmares I have ever seen. Harmony has never been a filmmaker for the everyone tastes, and this film is no exception. The film’s non linear storytelling with flashbacks and flash-forwards, voiced over dialogue repeated again and again, along with a bright neon palette, might put many some people off. Hopefully though, new fans will emerge after checking it out, and then move on to his earlier work, which are quite unique experiences as well.

This is the End

Gather a bunch of friends that have been in a bunch of films together before, write a script about the end of the world that happens while at a big Hollywood party at James Franco’s house, and a silliness and madcap hi-jinx will follow. The celebrity death and destruction in the beginning of the flick is funny enough to warrant this on my Top 13. Self deprecating, self reflexive, and satirically self absorbed…

12 Years a Slave

A brutal and moving film of a free man who is kidnapped and sold into Slavery and the many other people he met that were enslaved along side of him. It is heart wrenching and fantastic acting from the entire cast. Sarah Paulson’s great performance as a Slave Owner’s cruel and scorned wife has seriously been overlooked so far this Awards season.

Upstream Color

My other Favorite Flick of the Year!   Writer, Director, Producer Co-Star, Cinematographer, Editor, Camera Operator and Music Composer, Filmmaker Shane Carruth brings us this unconventional narrative  and polarizing mind fuck of a film. Shane has created visual poetry with a story that is fairly hard to summarize in a paragraph. Worms and pigs and hypnosis, Oh My! Check out the trailer, read this Interview, and take a gander at the NY Times Review, then Go And Watch The Damn Movie Why Don’t Cha!

“It’s satisfying on a level and that there’s a story there, but that it’s not something you have to see twice, it’s something you want to see twice or hopefully more. It’s something that you put on and internalize the way you would an album. I think I would like to see narrative get there, to the point where, like an album, you put it on, you don’t know everything about it, but you listen to it a few times and suddenly recognize all of this nuance and it becomes one of your favorites.” – Shane Carruth

You’re Next!

All this yammering and clammering this year from all of these Horror Sites and Genre lovers about what a great year it was for Horror Films and how James Wan’s “The Conjuring” was so good and blah blah blah… I feel there were a handful of extremely good and interesting Horror Flicks in 2013. Nothing great or groundbreaking, but some pretty fun ones to be had. The Conjuring is overrated and simply just a delayed Jump Scare rehash, recycled mish mosh of better and much scarier flicks before it. On the other hand Adam Wingard takes the overused Home Invasion Sub-Genre and makes it feel fun and fresh again. Dark Gorey Humor seems to be a favorite of mine.

That’s My Favorite Flicks of 2013 List! At least the Top 13. But what about the next 13? Hmmmmmm…

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Flicks That Need To Be Seen: Dogtooth

Uhhh Where do I begin. Father and Mother isolate their children from the big bad ol’ world. They have never stepped outside of their own high-walled yard. Escaping would be futile, because the most deadly animal in the world roams around just outside, which is the dreaded domesticated cat! This Greek film has to be seen to believed. Very disturbing Dark Absurdist Comedy that just may have you laughing uncomfortably despite of yourself. Not for all tastes, but fans of quirky and unconventional flicks, should give it a go. Hell, it was nominated for an Academy Award after all and scored 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not the only one who thought it Needed To Be Seen!

Fair Warning Though: This Flicks Breaks A Hell of a Lot of Movie and Societal Taboos.

Check It Out At Your Own Risk!

So Says Dick Hollywood…

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Top 13 Favorite Film Remakes

I Hate Remakes! I Despise Remakes! To me, they mostly are unoriginal and uninspired, and the more people flock to them, the more Hollywood will churn out the more of the same thing over and over again and shove it right down our throats. Be it Remakes, Reboots, Sequels or Prequels. Fuck all of them! I want something original… For the most part, I am opposed to remakes mainly because it seems like that there are more and more and even more of them being made nowadays, and they keep fucking with too many Cult Favorites and Classics. Still over the years there have been the occasional remake that slips through the cracks and are actually quite good. So as it really pains me to do this, I submit to you this list.

Here is my Top 13 Favorite Film Remakes in Alphabetical Order:

1. Dawn of the Dead

Well here is a case where they fucked with a Cult Horror Classic that I ended up enjoying it. Go figure. Not to say that it ever could surpass George Romero’s original Zombie Horror satire, but Zack Snyder brought a very different kinetic feel to this intense Zombie Flick. The first ten minutes alone is worth a look, along with an early Ty Burrel role (before playing Phil on Modern Family) playing a wonderfully perfect asshole. What can I say… I Liked It!

2. The Departed

American remakes of Foreign Films irk me to no end, especially nowadays since they remake them almost immediately, and since I really enjoyed the Hong Kong Crime Flick, Infernal Affairs, I would normally not want to see an American remake. But the truth is that I am also a huge Scorsese fan, so I gave the Departed a shot, and I can say that I was not dissapointed. It may not be one of my favorite of his, but I have to admit that it is a damn good and enjoyable crime drama.

3. The Fly

David Croenberg took an outdated camp Horror Classic starring Vincent Price, The Fly, and created a modern psychological Horror Classic. Jeff Goldblum deserved a Best Actor nomination for his brilliantly sad portrayal of a scientist who accidently turns himself into a human/fly hybrid while experimenting on telepotation. It is undenibly Jeff Goldblum’s best work of his career so far and a worthy remake.

4. Heat

Ok, full disclosure here, I have never seen Michael Mann TV movie “LA Takedown”, the TV Movie that he remade into one of his finest films, “Heat”. That being said, Heat is a fucking awesome flick and one that has influenced current cinema and filmmakers, such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive”. It also has De Niro and Pacino in the same fim for the first time, but even though they share a scene together at a table in a Diner, are never seen in a two shot. Fucking Brilliant!

5. Heaven Can Wait

Saw this when I was young and it had a great impact on me. I love this Flick! Watched the original, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan”, after the fact and was glad to see where the inspiration came from, but still love the Remake more. It is a great update of an excellent classic film.

6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Taken from the Cold War 50′s Sci-Fi/Horror Classic of the same name, and somehow modernized it into a creepier and gooier update, that virtually stands on it’s own. Of course, once again, I saw this flick in my formative years, and while my Dad espoused the brilliance of the original, I still opted for the one that I remember influencing me first. They are both classics, and while the Phillip Kaufaman remake does not surpass the original, it does a great job in modernizing it, and will either creep the shit, or scare the hell out of you. And this is a good thing.

7. The Magnificent Seven

Nothing can beat Akira Kurosawa’s original Seven Samurai, but god damn if the Magnificent Seven, Hollywood’s Western version of the same story, sure does come in a close second. This is not open to Debate.

8. The Maltese Falcon

Ok Ok so i have never seen the original, yes the original, 1931 version of this film, but come on… The 1941 remake with the Iconic role of Humphry Boart as Sam Spade, surely is the better of the two. I would love to see the original, but have yet to find it available. Maybe I am not seaching hard enough.

9. The Man Who Knew To Much

Not uasually a big fan of Directors remaking their own films. George Sluzier’s original Netherland Thriller, “The Vanishing”, was brilliant and intense. His American remake of the same film 5 years later sucked, and got all Hollywood Ending on us! Alfred Hitcock remade a few of his early British Films, and the remake of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, starring Jimmy Stewart, in my opinion, was his best.


10. Nosferatu the Vampyre

F.W. Murnau‘s original silent German Expressionist Flick is Brilliant, but I still love Werner Herzog’s take on the subject too. I mean Klaus Kinski is perfect in this role and somehow manages to look eerily and capture the essence of Max Schreck. Plus, you really can not go wrong with any Herzog/Kinski collaboration, and this remake is quite good.

11. Sorcerer

I love this flick! Remake and all… “Wages of Fear”, is a much better film, but I still do hold a soft spot in my heart for one of my Favorite Directors, William Friedkin’s, lesser known flicks. Roy Scheider, Roy Sheider, Roy Sheider! Check em both out if ya can.

12. John Carprnter’s The Thing

I love the Thing From Another Planet, but I can unequivocally say that John Carpenter’s version is much better and much more complete. This is one of the greatest Horror Films of All Time. It is a claustrophobic tension-filled flick that actually surpasses the original.

13. 13 Assassins

I have not seen the original Japanese Samurai Film, Jûsan-nin no shikaku”. that Takeshi Miike based this remake on, but man-o-man is this one hell of a fun flick. If you like Samurai swords and blood and fights and blood and comedy and blood and action and blood… Then you will enjoy this flick!

These Remakes Are Exceptions To The Rule. Watch These Flicks, But Boycott All Present and Future Remakes! Let Hollywood Know that you Prefer Original and Less Derivative Films…

Dick Hollywood Has Spoken!

 

 

 

 

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Flicks That Need To Be Seen: The Fall

Tarsem Singh, originally a Commercial and Music Video Director (R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion”, being his most famous), has been called a pretentious and self-indulgent filmmaker. He was so upset over the Studio Control and edit of his first feature film, “The Cell”, that he went ahead and Self-Financed his second feature film, ” The Fall”. Shot over a five year period in multiple countries, Tarsem had every right to be so-called self-indulgent (though I do not agree with this assessment), it was after all his time and money and vision for fucks sake!

Its a divisive film amongst critics, but I found it to be beautiful film to look it with a wonderfully dark overtones. And because I am a lazy writer, here is the synopsis from IMDB:

“In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.”

I feel it is worth while to see, so I command thee to go forth and watch it now!

So Says Dick Hollywood…

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